Who can buy?
Anyone. All nationalities can purchase property in Dubai In a major boost to the Dubai property market, the concept of freehold properties was introduced in the city of Dubai for the first time in any Gulf country. “Freehold” became the buzz word in May 2002 when H.H. General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and U.A.E. Defense Minister, announced that 100% freehold ownership of certain properties in Dubai was available to all nationalities
Want to buy a property – what is the first thing that I do?
You would need to secure financing before you choose a property. Have a look at what is available in the market. Decide on your budget, secure the mortgage and then choose your property.
Do I need to be a resident before I can buy a property?
No. You don’t need to be a resident to purchase a property in the UAE.
I want to know more about buying and selling in UAE, who should I contact?
Many agents and companies will be delighted to assist you with any queries you may have if you contact or just mail.
Should I rent furnished or unfurnished?
One of the most common questions from our clients is whether to rent their property furnished or unfurnished. It may not seem like there is much difference between the two, just simply put some furniture in a suite and rent for a higher rate. Unfortunately, this is not the case, it is a common misperception that since furnished rentals achieve higher rents they must make higher profit. Furnished suites are basically long term stay hotel rooms and come with electricity, cable, phone, internet service and sometimes cleaning services. The leases are most often 3 – 6 months and the vacancy rate can be as high as 30% in the off season months. For these reasons, we will most often suggest renting a property unfurnished for long term 1 year leases and let the tenant pay for the utilities and cable. Other benefits of renting your property unfurnished are that you get steady income with only a 1-2% vacancy rate in Vancouver’s Downtown areas, you will not have transient tenancies and damages to furniture is more costly to repair than bare walls and carpet. There are circumstances where renting furnished makes sense. In cases where the owner of the property is the primary resident and will be taking extended leave. Due to the high cost of storage and the possibility of the owner using the property throughout the year or coming back to live permanently in this case we do support renting a property furnished for convenience and availability.
What is a Lease-up?
Lease-up is a term that we use to refer to the process of placing a new tenant, including advertising, showing and approving a qualified tenancy
Is there a standard rate in the industry?
No, we do not have standard rates; each company charges the rates and structures their rates to reflect the services and expertise provided.
Can non locals register the land in their name?
Currently, they can not. Only locals of UAE and GCC countries citizens can register land with the Land Department.
What if I don’t want to buy the property after I have submitted the offer?
After you place an offer to the seller you will have to wait for the acceptance of this offer. However if you change your mind at any time you will have to inform the Seller about this decision.
What if my selected property is not financed online?
Several leading banks are offering finance; for more details please contact the seller.
What is the payment process?
When buying Dubai property off plan the payment process does differ dependent upon the development however typically you will be expected to make a down payment on exchange of contracts plus further installments of a percentage of the total purchase price based around milestones in the construction process. The final installment is due on the completion of the project.
Does I need a UAE bank account?
No. Purchasers are not required to have a UAE bank account to purchase in Dubai.
Are there any hidden taxes?
Dubai has no taxes of any kind! Dubai also benefits from no business taxes, except in the banking industry.
What finance options are available?
When buying off-plan property in Dubai, there is a choice of financing options available. Finance can take the form of a standard home loan of up to 70% of the property purchase price; alternatively the developers themselves may offer a lengthy repayment plan as a purchase option. These packages come at competitive rates and add the convenience of fixed monthly repayments over anything from 5 to 15 years.
How do I buy an apartment?
When you have decided which property you wish to purchase, contact us for a reservation form. Along with a completed form, clear copies of buyer(s) passports and proof of payment of the deposit.
Are there any Legal costs in purchasing a property?
No, since your contract is direct with the developer there are no legal costs involved . Conventionally lawyers are not used since contracts are simple and in plain english however you may appoint a solicitor if you wish.
What deposit is required?
Usually the developer asks for a 10%, 15% or 20% deposit. The remainder of the funds will be required over the building term in stage payments, often 10% every three months for apartments. We can provide you with exact details of payment schedules on request.
How much are maintenance fees?
Maintenance fees for apartments range from 4AED – 15AED per sq ft of your apartment per annum. This will be advised to you at the time of purchase. They tend to be fixed for 3 years after which a Residents Association is formed.
Can I come and visit the property before I buy?
Of course it is possible to come out and view the property before you purchase. Bear in mind that developments tend to sell out 18 months before they complete, so it may be that you can only see the area where it is going to be rather than the building itself.
Can someone arrange finance for me?
The seller or the company you’re dealing with can introduce you to companies that can assist you in arranging finance in Dubai. Most of the bank’s offer 70% ‘loan to original developer sale price’ mortgages and the rates tend to range from 6 – 8%. The approval of the loan is dependant on the project your earnings. Normally banks will lend on “approved” projects. Those are ones that they have reviewed and signed an agreement with the developer to lend finance on. Not all projects will be “approved”. If the project is approved, then you would contact the relevant bank/finance company to arrange finance. If the project is not approved you may need to approach various banks to see if they will give you finance. If your ability to pay the on-going installments is based on the finance being given, then we strongly advise that you obtain finance prior to committing yourself to any project as most deposits are non-refundable.
Are there any legal safeguards for foreign investors in the case of non-completion or poor construction work by the developer?
Yes, there are codes of standards applied by the Dubai Municipality regarding building permits and contractual clauses. The developer will have to maintain the standards as stipulated in the regulations issued with regards to building construction, and also safety issues. In the event of a problem, assistance can be found from the contract entered into with the developer. This may contain building covenants which often provide a guarantee of workmanship of 10 years. There is also the civil code of the UAE which contains protection regarding building standards.
Will the property be Freehold?
Most of the developments are offering freehold properties and your contract confirms this. A new law on march 12 2006 confirmed that foreign purchasers have the right to own freehold title to real estate in certain parts of Dubai and has significantly boosted both the amount of property for sale in Dubai and also the demand for it. It is understood that the freehold title announced by H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2002 shall be freehold as is understood in the international sense – where the owner is considered to have absolute rights to the property. Not all developments are Freehold, ie DubaiLand is Leasehold on a 99 year renewable basis.
Currently the developers register the property to the buyers. When will the Dubai Municipality register the property?
There is no registration of title being carried out by developers in Dubai yet with the Land Registry. Instead, the property is registered to the purchaser. Once the new land legislation becomes law, then it is expected that the land department will be empowered to register land titles in favor of foreigners for a registration fee of 2% of the purchase price, or valuation, whichever is the higher – usually paid 0.5% by the vendor and 1.5% by the buyer. The Land Registry has now been established, and staff has been allocated to developments in order to cope with the title demands when developments complete.
Can I get a residency visa when I purchase a property?
It is possible to apply for a residency visa when you purchase a property, where it is being offered on the specific development. Not all developments offer resident visas.
All visas are sponsored by the property developer and are renewable every 3 years at a fee. You are only able to get a visa for the family if the property which you are purchasing is big enough to house the family comfortably. i.e. 2 bedrooms will only be for adult and 2 children maximum, studio flat will only get a visa for a single person or couple. These visas will only enable you to reside in Dubai, not work here.
Are there inheritance issues in Dubai about property?
Few people realize that whenever they purchase property outside their original country of residence where they are most likely to have a will that the property in the country in which they have purchased is covered only by local laws. Dubai is no different, and the inheritance of property in the UAE is covered under Shariah Law. This stipulates that in the event of a man’s death, property would pass automatically to the eldest son in the family and not necessarily the man’s spouse, even if the property is jointly owned by husband and wife.
Advice from a variety of locally based law firms produces different recommendations, including putting in place a local will in the UAE if you are a resident, or adding a codicil as a supplement to your existing overseas will indicating that any assets you own in the UAE should be covered by laws of the will in the jurisdiction in which it was originally written. Some solicitors have also advised that this will and codicil should then be notarized by the UAE Embassy in the country in which the will was written, in the event that an inheritance dispute ends up in the law courts of Dubai.
Another option is purchasing the property through an offshore or service company in order that the shares of that company may be gifted to your chosen beneficiaries under the terms of your will. In any event, we strongly advise that you talk to your own lawyer and a local UAE based lawyer on purchasing your property.
I have heard I need a local sponsor to buy property in Dubai, is this true?
No, not any more, most properties are now freehold to make the market more attractive. It will say in your contract whether or not the property is freehold or leasehold.
What taxes will I have to pay?
Dubai has no taxes of any kind when purchasing a property in the emirate. Dubai also benefits from no business taxes, except in the banking industry.
Should you write a will when buying in Dubai?
Anybody purchasing property in Dubai (or anywhere) should get a will once they have bought. It means your estate can be properly distributed in accordance with your wishes, and according to the laws of the country you elect as your jurisdiction, thus avoiding any conflict with local law.
How can I protect myself from unscrupulous agents?
Always use a reputable company such as Emaar or Nakheel Property Services. Companies that win international awards and have high-profile international partners are a safe bet. If in doubt, ask for an agent’s trade licence. If they don’t want to give it to you, don’t work with them. Use a local lawyer who understands local property and contract law to check your contracts and arrange funds transfer. Many foreign-based lawyers don’t understand the law in Dubai and misguide buyers.
Am I dealing with a reputable builder?
In pretty much all cases, the developer is affiliated with the government. You can expect the highest quality workmanship quality fittings throughout, and roads / footpaths / lighting / landscapes is all complete before you take up residency. There is no room for mediocrity; the finish is far superior to European standards.
Is buying in Dubai good value?
You are the first registered owner, hence the price you pay is the best available, you have a few options:
- Complete the sale (keeps it and uses it when you visit Dubai)
- Complete the sale and lease it out, you expect rents of 10%-12%
- Demand for this type of property is booming
- Sell prior to completion. Very substantial profits will be made and remember it is all tax-free.
Which airlines fly to Dubai?
Dubai is home to an international airport with more than 70 airlines serving more than 110 cities worldwide. There are direct flights from Ireland with Aer Lingus from €199 one-way, flights run 3 times per week.
Is alcohol available and legal in Dubai?
Alcohol is freely available in the many bars around town, hotels and golf clubs. All international brands of spirits and beer in cans and draught (including Guinness) are available. There are no off-licence stores so it is wise to use the duty free at Dubai Airport on the way in.
What are the business hours in Dubai?
Many offices, including government departments, are closed on Thursday and Friday, while some private companies treat Friday and Saturday as the weekend. Banking and official business is usually conducted in the morning hours. Many shops and private businesses have a long siesta between 1pm & 3pm but stay open late. Shopping malls are open from 10am to 10pm.
What is Real Estate Agents Commission Fee
A one time fee of 5% based on the annual rent is payable to your property agent. This is not negotiable and is standard across Dubai. This commission is collected at the time of signing the lease and collection of the rental payments.
What is Municipality Tax
Dubai Municipality will collect 5% of the annual rent as a Municipality Tax. This is collected in various ways including on separate invoices, in cash or can be included on DEWA statements.
If water and electricity has been disconnected from your home you will need to pay a reconnection fee. This is normally Dhs 30 per utility.
Can I pay my annual rent with 12 cheques?
Most landlords now require one cheque in advance to cover the annual rent. Your property agent may be able to negotiate with the landlord for payment to be made over more than one cheque.
Why has my property agent asked for an immediate commitment on my chosen rental property?
In Dubai there is a shortage of rental properties and as the market is moving so fast, it is necessary to be prepared to commit on the spot. If your company is covering the payment of your rent, it may be necessary for you to pay the initial holding deposit so that no delay is incurred, risking losing the property of your choice.
Will the landlord clean the property before I move in?
As properties are moving so quickly, landlords will not normally clean a home until it has been leased and prior to occupancy. This may still not be cleaned to your standard and your property agent would be happy to recommend and organize a professional cleaning company.
Can I paint the walls of my rented property in any color?
With the permission of the landlord minor enhancements can normally be approved however you may be expected to return the property back to the original form at the end of the tenancy.
Why is there such a shortage of properties and why are the rents so high?
It is simply the case of supply and demand. During the past 12 months the rental prices have increased by approximately 40%. With Dubai now being one of the more sought after employment destinations, prediction is a continued increase in living expenses and a shortfall in rental availability.
Are rental prices negotiable?
This does depend on the landlord but in working with a reputable property agent you can expect to pay fair price based on the current market. A more competitive rental price can sometimes be negotiated if you are in a position to sign a lease for longer than 12 months.
Can we get a visa with leasehold?
Visas are not provided with leasehold. However with freehold developments the developer can arrange a 3-year renewable visa. This visa allows the owner and their family to reside in Dubai without renewing their visit visa but does not permit them to work. .
What is the difference between an Initial Booking deposit and a Holding deposit?
When you purchase directly from a developer a 10-15% deposit is paid to reserve the property in your name. When purchasing a property on the resale market a non-refundable holding deposit is paid to the seller to withdraw the property from the market and to secure the agreed price whilst you arrange financing or transfer of funds. The holding deposit is normally approximately 5% of the property price and will secure your property for up to 30 days.
How long does the purchase process take?
The process can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks.
Do we need to involve a lawyer and can we arrange a POA in Dubai?
It is not essential but we do recommend involving a lawyer. We have a list of local companies who can prepare all documentation required for a property sale transaction. Our preferred rates with professional firms can include simple preparation of a POA or if requested, presence of a lawyer at the transfer of property.
Can I pay in cash for my property?
All payments must be by banker’s draft or cashier’s check.
What is a premium?
Either charged as a fixed amount or as a percentage, a premium is the amount that you pay above the original purchase price. A premium should not be mistaken as a transfer fee or brokerage commission.
What is a transfer fee?
A transfer fee is paid to the developer when transferring ownership from seller to buyer. The amount which varies between 1% and 7% of either the sale price or original price is normally paid by the buyer.
When selling should I disclose the original price I paid for my property?
The buyer will normally want to know the original sales price of a property to determine the premium and whether the investment is good value. As most lenders in the market will not lend on the premium, the original sale price will be needed to secure finance.
What is the BUA?
BUA stands for Built up Area and will include not just floor areas but also include balconies and terraced areas. An area size excluding the balcony or terrace is referred to as the carpet or covered area and the plot area is the total size of the plot including the garden.
Can we arrange a mortgage after choosing my property?
We recommend that once you have chosen your development; get a pre-approval before choosing a specific property. This will give you the confidence to move ahead and reduce the risk of delay and in some cases disappointment.
What is the time difference between Dublin and Dubai?
Dubai is 3 hours ahead of GMT
Do I need a visa?
A visa is not necessary for citizens from the following exempted countries: Ireland, UK, Andorra, Hong Kong, Belgium, San Marino, The Netherlands, Sweden, Malaysia, Vatican, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, USA, Monaco, Austria, Brunei, Cyprus, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Italy, Singapore, Finland, France, Malta. If you are not a citizen of one of the exempted countries a visa/permit must be applied for, this can be obtained by sponsorship of UAE resident or other legal entities such as companies or hotels. If a hotel arranges a visa/permit it is usually deposited at the airport for collection by the visitor on arrival.
Is Dubai a safe city?
Dubai is 99.9% crime free
What is the best way of traveling in Dubai?
Traffic in Dubai can is busy at peak times and the road system is superb. The most economical way of getting around is by taxi. Taxi fares are very reasonable, at approx €5 per journey. All drivers understand English and the taxis are air-conditioned. All taxis are metered but we recommend using the Dubai Transport Corporation (beige in color). Local and international car hire companies are available. Bus services cater mainly for local residents as the routes are not really of interest to tourists
Why are Dubai condos and condo hotels priced so much cheaper than other premier real estate markets in the United States and abroad?
The Dubai real estate market is rapidly emerging, similar to Orlando before Disney world or Las Vegas before the mega hotels and casinos. With the many astonishing mega projects under way in Dubai, it is easy to see why these comparisons can be made.
Why are so many tourists attracted to Dubai?
This metropolis on the Arabian Gulf draws travelers from all over the world. What attracts them to Dubai are tax-free, highest-end shopping, great weather, extraordinary accommodations, incredible restaurants and food, water and theme parks, and pristine almost sterile beaches that go on for miles. With the creation of mega projects like Sports City and Dubailand, the amount of visitors to Dubai is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, and this will help to raise Dubai property value as well.
Why are most condo hotels being built in Dubailand?
Dubailand is expected to be the top tourist destination of Dubai, consisting of 6 themed worlds, it will be almost 3 times the size of World Disney World. Condo Hotels are best suited for high tourism areas.
Who lives in Dubai and what languages are spoken there?
Dubai is made up of 185 nationalities. The majority of their 3 million people come from other countries. The main languages spoken are Arabic and English. Dubai encompasses the true meaning of cultural diversity.
Where is Dubai located?
It is centrally located in the Middle East across from Saudi Arabia within hours of Europe, China, North Africa and India. Its’ location makes it a vacation haven for over a billion people.
What is the appeal for so many visitors and investors in the Dubai real estate market?
1.Growing Economy and Politically Stable
2.No Income Tax and Property Tax
3.Clean Crime-Free City
4.Advanced Technology and Communications System
5.Exemplary Healthcare, Education and Leisure Activities
6.Five Star Hotels, Restaurants and Beaches
7. State of the Art Sports Arenas (Tennis, Golf, Water Sports, Sand Skiing, Horse Riding and the First Indoor Ski Mountain) is just there
8.Cosmopolitan work environment with over 185 nationalities
9. Prices are inexpensive by comparison to other similar markets around the world
10.Dubai is a sun-filled wonderland accompanied by white sandy beaches overlooking the picturesque Arabian Sea.
Who is behind the emergence of Dubai?
Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is the renowned innovative ruler who has earned international respect for his humanitarian and principles of modern development. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is on a mission to create the world’s most progressive, contemporary and luxorious city in the world. The Dubai real estate market is bound to move skyward as his vision continues to take form.
What is the situation with Freehold?
Nearly four years after they first announced plans to offer freehold ownership to foreign nationals, the Government of Dubai finally published a new Lands Law in March this year that paves the way as expected for expatriate homeowners to register their Dubai properties in their names with Dubai Lands and Properties Department (Law No.7 of 2006).
The law is being hailed by officials as proof that the Government has stood by investors who have purchased properties in Dubai within the freehold communities, and will be followed by a number of new bylaws that will identify the freehold areas and determine the registration fees and procedures.The likely impact of the new land law is an uplift in market value as it is expected that another wave of buyers will enter the Dubai property market.
Do I need an offshore company to purchase my place in Dubai?
You do not need to have one but it makes sense to avoid transfer fees, reduce your tax exposure in your home country and to make your purchase Sharia friendly.
Do I need to insure my property in Dubai?
It makes sense to protect any assets that you have.
What is the difference between leasehold and freehold?
At this time condo hotels in Dubai are only being sold as 99 year leaseholds which offer automatic renewal after expiration for a small fee. There is a mounting school of thought that long leases rather than freehold ownership should emerge as the preferred method of purchasing condo hotels. Leasehold is common in many countries for high-rise property. Leasehold grants the duties and obligations of the landlord or freeholder to maintain the whole property in pristine condition. However, in a few months the laws in Dubai are expected to change to allow freehold ownership, and leasehold properties can be converted to freehold. Condo hotels will still be maintained within the standards set by the developer.
Why is Dubai real estate a good investment?
1. High rental rates
Rental rates continue to go up. Rates last year went up anywhere from 10% to 50% depending on the property. With stable rising property value in 2005, rental yields have been moving upward as well. This attracts investors to the Dubai real estate market, while pushing those renting into buying Dubai property in order to avoid future rent hikes.
2. Low priced
Compare a Dubai condo to a condo in a prosperous UK or American city and you will find that home or condo prices are around 1/3 the price. Tax-free incomes in Dubai compare more than favorably with UK and U.S. post-tax income levels, and borrowing costs are virtually the same. This large price difference clearly creates an incredible opportunity for Dubai real estate.
3. Mortgage costs are falling
Local and international banks are creating more mortgage options by the day, and the result is pushing the cost of borrowing lower. If it costs less to borrow money for purchasing Dubai property then the net effect is a higher Dubai property value.
4. New federal law
A new federal property law is expected pass in the next coming year to convert leasehold sections of Dubai to freehold. This will remove an area of uncertainty for investors and increase the pool of investors who would consider Dubai real estate a possible investment option. More investors in Dubai real estate will be good for prices.
5. Dubai property: Supply is short and demand is high
Supply of Dubai apartments, villas, hotels and condominiums are not expected to meet up with demand for many years to come in the Dubai real estate market. The rapid expansion of Dubai as a business and trading hub and leisure destination for the Middle East is bringing in more and more non residents.
6. Dubai is becoming famous
No city in the world is presently more successful at marketing itself than Dubai. The Dubai real estate market can only gain from this marketing. Foreign investors are already active buyers of local property. Dubai property has advantages as a tax haven. These are only just being recognized.
Is their financing available for Dubai properties?
Some Dubai property developers offer financing while others do not. When available financing can range anywhere from 50% to 90% depending upon the property
When is high season and when is low season in Dubai?
Dubai, the high season starts from September to May including the Christmas & New Year periods and the Easter Holidays. Mid-low season is June through August because the temperature is too high and the weather is the warmest. Temperatures from September to May make Dubai a hugely popular winter sun resort for its visitors, while the mid-low season offers excellent value for money with some flights and accommodation rates being lower priced than during the high season.
What can the weather be like in Dubai per season?
October through May is the most ideal climate with temperatures ranging from around 20°C’s to the high 30°C’s. June through September is the warmest with average daily temperatures reaching 40+°C.
Unlike seasonal tourist destinations however, Dubai remains fully open for the whole year offering superb facilities and is truly a quality fascinating destination for all visitors.
How can someone book a villa or apartment?
By sending an email from the property page of the property you are interested in and completing the required fields. They will send you a reply within 24 hours or give you a call to answer any possible questions you might have. They then wait for your email with a confirmation and you can pay a percentage of the rental. Once we receive the required deposit, the house or apartment is confirmed.
What payment options are available?
3 different payment options; Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) Wire transfer Check..
Can we book a property for less than a week?
In most cases this is possible to rent for less than a week, especially in the low season.
What is the rental yield I can expect?
Currently in Dubai there is a healthy rental market especially to foreigners and rental yields are between 12-15%, depending on the location. Obviously, in time, with all the apartments which will be available to rent, and as capital values rise, yields may drop to somewhere nearer 10-12%. It is worth bearing in mind that currently there is a shortage of property to either rent or to buy to live in and many developments will not be available to live in until the end of 2006. The current building programmer is only expected to meet current demand. However, over 50 companies a day open up in Dubai and it is anticipated that the population will double by 2010, which will keep demand high for many years to come.
How do I rent a property in Dubai?
To rent, you need to show proof or your residency visa and/or work permit. A refundable security deposit must be paid to the landlord along with a 5% real estate agency fee. You will sign a one year contract generally but you can provide a one cheque for the full rent amount, or split the rent into 2 cheques or 3 cheques subject to the Landlord’s requests. You may also be obliged to pay a security deposit to DEWA, which is refundable at the end of your rent’s term.
Can I buy a property to rent out?
You may buy a property and then rent it out; alternatively you buy a property that is already rented out which will provide you with immediate returns. We may assist in locating tenants for your property.
What are the advantages of renting a private villa?
• Private accommodation offers you, your family and friends a truly Dubai atmosphere, more space, more comfort, more informality, more privacy, and more personal service.
• Renting a private villa or apartment through dubaishortstay.com is great value. When calculated on a per bedroom or per person basis and considering all the “extras” you’d have to pay in a hotel, a private villa vacation is significantly cheaper than staying at Dubai’s luxury hotels or resorts.
• Expenses for food and drink, snacks, laundry, printing and faxes etc. are charged at cost and therefore much lower compared to a hotel where they can easily double or triple your bill. When you rent a private villa, you’ll save about US$40 to US$80 or more per person per day on food & beverages and “extras” compared to staying at a good hotel.
How comfortable are properties in Dubai?
Dubai have all been constructed soon. In order to be added to top properties they are required to meet certain standards from kitchen and entertainment appliances to furniture and linens.
Kitchens are fully equipped with a stove, refrigerator/freezer, and all the normal cooking utensils together with the right number of glasses, knifes and forks, plates, cups, and so on. Each property is supplied with bed sheets, towels, etc. sufficient for the maximum number of guests. Due to this being a new accommodation option in Dubai all furnishings and fittings are new and run through our quality checks.
The majority of properties have shared or private swimming pools.
How is Dubai for young children?
Dubai has increasingly developed the value proposition for families and thus there is plenty for them to do and see. From water parks such as “Wild Wadi” to Dubai’s malls catering to kids. Many of our properties reside in family communities that have children’s pools and jungle gyms.
How much does it cost to rent properties?
It depends on the number of bedrooms, location, season, and facilities of the particular property. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay between US$100 for a one bedroom apartment up to US$1000 a night for a 5/6 bedroom villa with private pool in one of the more desirable areas.
Season, Length of Stay, and Booking Date are other important factors: Most villas cost 25% to 50% more over certain holidays (Christmas, New Year and Easter) and during Dubai’s high season in January and February when the Shopping Festival, ATP Tennis and PGA Golf Tournaments commence. Alternatively last minute deals on stays longer than 14 days can be more than 20% below normal rental rates.
When should I make my reservation?
Dubai is experiencing a major tourist boom and therefore demand is high. So book as early as you can.
Do we get a discount if we stay for more than two weeks?
In most cases, apart from the high season including Christmas/New Year period, some discount may be negotiated for a stay of over two weeks. Prices of private villas and apartments is not fixed, but based depending on the season and availability. You can reserve properties for any number of days as long as it exceeds the specific properties minimum rental period.
Is it possible to get mortgages for property in Dubai?
Yes. Amlak, Tamweel, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, MashreqBank, RAKBANK, National Bank of Dubai, United National Bank, Arab Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank Ltd (Pakistan) are just some of the banks that lend on Dubai property, both on- and off-plan. Each one has different rates and terms, and some only lend to residents.
You can also now get mortgages internationally for property in Dubai. HSBC in the UK, for example, will lend assetbacked mortgages against a property you own there.
Other banks are starting to do the same.
How do mortgages differ from those abroad?
Firstly, lenders do not lend on every project currently being built. Often, buildings are soldthat no one lends on at all, but, given the favourable paymentstructure system in Dubai, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying. On the other hand, it is possible to get a mortgage on many off-plan properties, unlike most places in the world.
What are mortgage rates like in Dubai?
On the whole, and in comparison with international rates, rates are considered to be expensive at between six and eight per cent. But these are not asset-backed, as they would generally be were you to get a mortgage for a Dubai property somewhere else in the world. Mortgages in Dubai depend on your income as the main factor.
How quickly can I get a mortgage?
Some banks are claiming that they will be able to give you an offer in under a week. Do not assume this is always the case, though. It is almost unheard of, and you should expect at least
Is it possible for me to get a pre-approved mortgage?
Yes. This is preferable and is the way to go. Most lenders will work out how much they are
likely to lend you before you have a specific property in mind. This means you can then go shopping, and find something you know you can afford. It means fewer surprises, and less heartache.
At EPS, the pre-approval will take between 24-48 hours, provided all the necessary documents are provided.
How do local finance houses assess mortgages?
Your monthly income, less expenses, and then generally divided by three. This gives the figure they will work from, for each month over the term. They do not base it on how well the asset might perform, and do not allow for low-loan-to-value (ie, large down-payment with
small loan). This system makes it frustratingly limited because even if you are earning a
seriously good wage, do not assume that a bank – any bank for that matter – will lend you
substantial sums. Always check whether the property you are buying has a lender, and always check whether they will lend to you.
How much can I borrow?
Resident expatriates can generally borrow between 70 and 80 per cent; non-residents can generally borrow 60 to 70 per cent. It all depends on the lender, and the project they are
Can I sell my property prior to completion?
Yes, the property can be sold after the payment of the second instalment, provided there has been no delay in payment. The property cannot, however, be resold by the next landlord until completion.
What do I need to show mortgage firms to get finance?
You will need to show proof of residency (although usually, it doesn’t matter where that is -
it just changes how much you have to stump up as a downpayment).
You will also have to provide proof of income details. For the employed, this means proof of employment, and six months of bank statements. For the self-employed, it generally means three years’ worth of audited accounts.
What does the maintenance fee cover?
In most apartments, the airconditioning cost is covered, along with all external amenities, common areas and security. For villas, the fee covers the maintenance of common areas.
What’s a transfer fee?
A transfer fee is payable if you transfer your property to someone else. It is an administrative charge levied by the primary developer.
If a foreigner writes a will including UAE assets, does it take precedence over local Shari’a law?
Yes, but to be on the safe side, make sure that your will clearly states that you want it to be understood (elected) in the light of the laws of your own country.The laws of the UAE specifically allow this. This is particularly important if you are a foreign Muslim, and do not want your will to be specifically determined by the Shari’a law of the UAE. If
you die abroad,it will make a difference. If you die in the UAE, it might make all the difference.Do seek legal advice on this one.
Is there any recourse against bad tenants?
There are procedures in the Rent Office that allow you to apply for a tenancy to be ended, as well as to seek possession and damages. You need to make your application with all the relevant documents, accompanied by Arabic translations. A fee of 3.5 per cent of the annual rental value
and claim amount is payable.
What does freehold mean in the context of Dubai?
As it stands, freehold means ownership of the building you are buying in perpetuity. Dubai’s
Government does, however, need to produce a law that defines the legal terminology specifically for Dubai, just as the Abu Dhabi Government has recently done for Abu Dhabi.At the moment, freehold (or leasehold, depending on what you are buying) exists in contract with the primary
developer – the quasi-Dubai Government entities called Nakheel, Emaar and Dubai Holdings. The good news is that legal consultants say a new law is in the pipeline. It is almost certain
that no law will allow foreigners to own land as freehold – this is likely to remain with the primary developers, and has happened in the few cases where title has been granted to foreigners. This is no cause for alarm though, as it also applied in Europe and the
US, for example.
What are the maintenance fees once I purchase a property?
Maintenance fees vary, depending on the project. Apartment-owners pay an annual fee, which is calculated per square foot, whereas villaowners generally pay a fixed amount per month.
What documentation should I demand before I buy?
In a direct purchase situation, a buyer needs to be sure he or she signs, and is given a copy of, a reservation contract with the original developer if the home is purchased directly from that developer, or through an agent acting on a developer’s behalf. In a resale situation, a buyer needs to see proof of ownership from the seller, and sign an assignation document to prove transfer of ownership to him or her, witnessed by the developer. They will then themselves be issued with a purchase and sales agreement.
There are no circumstances under which either of these scenarios should be deviated
from unless you are into very high-risk buying and selling.
Can I buy an apartment in the UAE as a foreigner without a residency permit?
Yes, anyone can buy a property in the UAE. All you require is your passport and
What’s the difference between a standard mortgage and an Islamic mortgage?
Very little. An Islamic mortgage doesn’t allow interest to be charged, but you still pay the
bank a fee or profit, or both, over time, for the property to become yours. Try looking at
both options as there are differences in terms of payment amounts and ownership rights
that may be useful to your personal circumstances.
Do I have to pay tax on Dubai property if I am resident abroad?
Most states expect you to pay tax on assets abroad. In some jurisdictions, however (the UK being one example), it is possible not to pay, by ensuring that rental income or proceeds from the sale of a Dubai property remain offshore.
The best way to do this is through an offshore company where you can keep revenue,
or an offshore deposit account with an international bank, which allows you to deposit
and transfer funds with a certain amount of privacy.
What documentation should I demand before I buy?
In a direct purchase situation, a buyer needs to be sure he or she signs, and is given a copy of, a reservation.
What are the most common reasons for selling property previously purchased in Dubai?
There are a multitude of reasons why people want to sell. The most common are:
- Recover the investment now with guaranteed profits
- They require funds for another reason in the UK
- They want to use the funds to purchase another Dubai property which may have better potential for future growth in value
Can I really sell my property without traveling to Dubai?
Yes, the company or agent acts on your behalf. To do this there is a need for something called a Power of Attorney along with your original documents and any receipts. Once these are sent
What is a Power of Attorney?
It is a big legal term basically allowing others to have the power to sell the property. It is used commonly in businesses when an employee has the rights to act on behalf of the company and less commonly for private use. It gives them the right to sell your property under certain conditions (e.g. price and timing) that they have agreed with you in the sales agreement.
What are the risks of a Power of Attorney?
The Power of attorney is a powerful document on its own. However you should have an agreement that outlines the terms in which others have the right to use the power of attorney.
If the sale does not happen as agreed does the power of attorney is released and original paperwork back to me promptly?
Yes, of course if the sale does not happen for whatever reason they will act in accordance with the sales agreement and give you back all the original paperwork and power of attorney.
How confident are you that you can sell my property?
Usually no one takes your project onboard unless they are sure that they can sell.
What are Transfer Fees? And who collects them?
In The UK there is a Stamp Duty which is a TAX on any property that is bought over £150k and is paid by the buyer. In Dubai the developers has a cost of drawing up new agreements and transferring ownership from one person to another. So the developers charge 2.5% transfer fee. This money goes to the actual developers of the building not the Dubai Government. You will not need to pay this as our process gets this from the buyer.
What is the Land Registry fee?
This is a recent change to Dubai law where properties need to registered .This is 1% and is paid to the Dubai government. You will not need to pay this as the process gets this from the buyer.
Why are there typically four agents involved in normal property sale?
In Dubai the office hours are 7am to 3pm, this leaves people open to having a second job and many of them list themselves as property agents. So in most cases you will have primary sales agent these are people who have a property license, The primary agent in an attempt to keep their costs low enlist the help of part-time agents to sell your property. The part-time agent will normally have a network of other part-time agents who he can sell the property onto but to make it all happen they need to enlist the help of a another primary agent, so you have 4 people involved in one sale.
Can we agree the value of the property in GBP sterling?
Yes you can, the actual transaction will be in AED but if you would like to have it at GBP then we can agree and exchange rate in advance and put that into the contracted sales agreement. We will then transfer the amount in GBP to your account.
How legally binding are the contracts?
The contracts are there to protect you and the agents they are fair and as legal as any estate agents agreement. All the agreements are under law so you have a clear understanding and legal rights.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
Most states require real estate sales professionals to be licensed by the state, so that they can control education and experience requirements and have a central authority to resolve consumer problems.
The terminology used to identify real estate professionals varies a little from state to state. Brokers are generally required to have more education and experience than real estate salespersons or agents.
The person you normally deal with is a real estate agent or salesperson. The salesperson is licensed by the state, but must work for a broker. All listings are placed in the broker’s name, not the salespersons.
A broker can deal directly with home buyers and sellers, or can have a staff of salespersons or agents working for him or her.
Why should I use a real estate agent?
A real estate salesperson is more than just a “sales person.” They act on your behalf as your agent, providing you with advice and guidance and doing a job – helping you buy or sell a home. While it is true they get paid for what they do, so do other professions that provide advice, guidance, and have a service to sell-such as Certified Public Accountants and Attorneys
However, the role of an agent has changed in the last couple of years. In the past, agents were the only way home buyers and sellers could access information. Now agents are evolving. Because today’s home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, expertise and ability are becoming more important.
The real estate agent is becoming more of a “guide” than a “salesperson”-your personal representative in buying or selling a home.
What is a buyers agent, what does this specifically do for a buyer and who usually pays this “buyers agent”?
On most transactions, there is usually a listing agent and a selling agent. The selling agent is sometimes referred to in media as the buyer’s agent, because he works on the buyer’s behalf and it easier than explaining each time that the “selling agent” is not the listing agent and is actually the buyer’s agent.
There are some agents that market themselves as “buyer’s agents,” “exclusive buyer’s agents,” buyer’s representatives,” and so on. Mostly it is just marketing. At the same time, part of it is because they want to accentuate the reasons a buyer should not go directly to the listing agent when they purchase real estate. This has to do with agency.
See, if a buyer goes directly to the listing agent, they are dealing with an agent that has conflicting responsibilities. Their job is to get a good price for the seller and they may not zealously represent the interests of the buyer. Those who market themselves as “Buyer’s Agents” indicate they are only working for the buyer in a real estate transaction.
The commission is still paid by the seller, no matter what they say in their marketing (with extremely rare exceptions). They either get paid directly by the seller or set up the transaction so that the seller provides a “credit” to the buyer for how much the real estate commission is-then the buyer pays the commission.
I signed a listing agreement, but am having second thoughts about selling. How do I cancel and will it cost me anything?
It should be pretty simple. Just tell the agent you have changed your mind and decided not to sell after all.
Since your cooperation is required to sell the house, most agents won’t give a hard time about canceling. Their hope is that when you later do decide to sell, you will get back in touch with them. However, if you attempt to put it back on the market during the contracted listing period using another agent, your original agent will attempt to enforce their contract.
When buying a new home, what upgrades should we go for? What holds the most value? Do we upgrade the lot? Pick more square footage in the house? Add an extra bedroom?
A lot depends on why you are buying the house. Are you buying it mostly as a home or mostly as an investment? There is a difference.
For the most part, upgrades are high-profit items for builders. They aren’t designed to enhance the value of the house, but make you happier with the house you do buy.
If you are looking at your home as an investment, then you buy from the smaller to medium size in the tract and spend only a minimal amount on upgrades. If you are looking at your purchase as a home, then you select upgrades that will enhance your quality of living.
One rule of thumb is to always upgrade the carpet and padding.
I need to buy a house with a good resale value. How do I determine if my house will increase in value within the next five years so that we can upgrade? I can buy a smaller house in a great location or get twice as much house in a good location. Which is a wiser decision?
It’s like buying stocks. How do you really know which ones will increase most in value over the next five years? As with any investment, there are risks.
The most often quoted rule is that location is the most important factor.You want to make sure that the house does not back to busy streets and is as close to the interior of the tract as possible. Avoid corners and intersections. Choose the middle of the block or a cul de sac. You’ll want to be sure it has at least two bathrooms (if you are buying in an older area).
Sometimes it is just timing that works out best for you. For example, if you buy a home before a major surge in local prices.
We were set to close and the seller now wants to set up new closing date. Can I get them to come down off the price of the house and anything else you think that would help me?
The seller may have had legitimate reasons or perhaps not. You can attempt to renegotiate the price if you choose to, and this can be looked at several ways. Once you make your offer to purchase the house at a lower price, this can be looked at as a new offer, which can nullify your original offer.
Most likely, you are going to just have to decide whether you like the house enough to go ahead with the purchase.
The seller is unable to find a replacement property by the time the sixty day escrow closes. They have requested an extension of thirty days. If we do not agree to that extension, will we lose the appraisal fee, the home inspection fee, and our deposit?
You’ll probably get your deposit back, minus a small cancellation fee. However, the appraisal and home inspection have been done and those guys don’t work for free, so that money is gone. Since both the appraisal and home inspection were done for that specific property, if you choose not to extend and buy a different property you will have to pay those fees again.
Do you want to extend and wait around another thirty days and find the seller still has not purchased something? Remember in your purchase contract that you had time conditions placed upon you. For example, it may have been two days to apply for a loan, seven days to review the disclosures, fourteen days to get a home inspection, and so on.
One hour before closing I signed an addendum to remove tires from the property. There were about 6 to 8tires that I had removed. Mysteriously, about 30 tires have appeared on the property. Am I responsible for their removal? I have witnesses that can state they were not on the property on settlement day.
It just goes to show you how crazy real estate can be, doesn’t it?
Most real estate contracts detail exactly when you are to turn over possession of the property to the seller. Turning over possession usually occurs sometime after the transaction actually closes. Often this is three days after closing. If the tires showed up before the transfer of the property (as stated in the contract), you should probably remove the tires.
I agreed to buy a house and now I’ve changed my mind. How do I cancel?
This may not be the answer you were expecting…
For the answer to this, you have to look at your contract. The contract is the legal agreement you have made with the seller. Most contracts have certain contingencies where a cancellation is acceptable. To cancel for reasons other than that, there are often consequences and such a decision should not be taken lightly.
Keep in mind that while you have been preparing to close the transaction, the seller has taken his home off the market and may have entered his own contract to purchase a home. This can create a chain of sales and purchases, all depending on you to fulfill your obligation. If you do not fulfill the contract, your decision may affect many more people than just one seller.
For the legal consequences of canceling a contract, you may have to consult an attorney.
The buyer now wants out of the contract to buy my home. The contract has been signed by both parties. What are my rights, and do I have to keep my home?
When people break contracts, you can’t generally force them to go through with the transaction. What you can do, if you can prove damages, is try to recover the damages in court or through arbitration.
You can attempt to talk to the buyers and find out what the problem is and try to resolve it. It may be something easily you can easily resolve, but maybe not.
I’m selling my home “by owner,” and a real estate agent who wants to show my home to a buyer said something about “agent protection.” What does this mean?
This probably refers to the agent wanting to protect their right to a commission should you elect to sell to their client. In our home selling library, we have an article on types of listings. One of those is a “one time show.” This is something the agent will probably come in and get you to sign before bringing in their clients. It identifies the client, the commission, and prevents you and that buyer from negotiating directly at a later time, with the intent to cut the agent out of the deal and not pay a commission.
On a FSBO (for sale by owner), what is financial obligation, if any, to sell to client with buyer agent?
When a buyer’s agent has a client who makes an offer to buy your home, the offer will also ask you to cover the agent’s commission – either directly or indirectly. Since the traditional arrangement usually includes two agents and the customary commission is approximately six percent of the sales price, the commission asked for in this transaction should be approximately half. There is only one agent involved.
On the one hand, you save money over traditional agent marketing. On the other hand, you don’t make as much as if you sold the home at its full market value. Then, on the other hand again, sellers working with agents usually get a higher price for their home than seller who work by themselves. It is a difficult decision for you to make.
Anyway, the offer will ask you to either pay the commission directly to the agent and their broker, or apply a “credit” to the buyer so that the buyer can pay the commission. Either way it comes out of the proceeds of your sale.
We are thinking about selling our home on our own. If a buyer comes in with a Realtor do we still have to pay their agent the 3% commission?
That depends on whether you choose to “cooperate” with agents or not. If you do not, agents will not bring buyers to your house. If you do cooperate, some agents will bring buyers, but if their client makes an offer and closes the deal, they will expect to earn a commission. A three percent commission is customary, but you can attempt to negotiate, too.
Before an agent brings a client to your house, they will probably stop by and ask you to sign a “one time show” agreement. This prevents you and the buyer from negotiating directly in an attempt to not pay the agent’s commission.
How do I sell my house by owner?
You want a quick answer? People write entire books on this topic and one of the better ones is “Sold by Owner,” by Robert Irwin.
It’s like golf – it sounds easy. You just whack the ball a bunch of times until it goes into the hole. You may land in a sand trap or go out of bounds, but if you keep whacking at it, the ball eventually goes in the hole.
Buying and selling real estate is the same way. If you are willing to do all the work, you can muddle through and get it done.
I have reason to believe that the seller’s agent was not truthful about the opposing bids for a property. I’m suspicious he made up bids to drive up the price I eventually offered. Do I have the right to demand proof of the opposing bids?
An agent or a seller is not obligated to divulge details of competing offers. You can ask for it in a counter-offer, but you may be taking a risk on losing the property altogether. If you feel you were a victim of fraud, you should consult with an attorney and ask him or her for advice.
Can a broker sign an Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement with a buyer when that broker is representing the seller as a dual agent? Isn’t this a conflict of interest?
There are a few different forms with similar sounding names. The form you signed probably means you agree to use that agent exclusively and will not go out looking for another agent.
The other form with a similar name does what you suggest. It means the agent will only represent you in the particular transaction.
Read what you sign. Get copies.
I am an out of state owner and made a deal to sell my vacant lot. The buyer was a licensed real estate agent who within a week (and before we closed our transaction) had sold it to someone else for $50,000 more than what they paid me. Is this legal or ethical?
It sounds like you are asking if you have a legal case to sue the individual. For that you need to consult with an attorney. If I were you, I would certainly be talking to an attorney.
Is it legal for an agent representing the buyers in a deal to lend money to their client for the down payment on a home?
This is not legal advice, so don’t take it as legal advice.
Most mortgages don’t allow the borrower to borrow money for the down payment. If the borrower conceals the fact that they are borrowing money for the down payment, then the borrower is committing fraud against the lender.
Is the Realtor doing anything illegal? From the lender’s point of view, the borrower is the client, not the Realtor. The application specifically asks if any part of the down payment is borrowed.
But this is supposed to be a forum about the ‘real’ world of real estate, and the truth is that things like this do happen without any consequences. If every loan and every purchase was done strictly according to the rules, many fewer homes would be sold and fewer loans would be originated. No one is supposed to say that, but it is true.
This is not to say that such a practice is “okay” – just to say that it occurs.
If it is brought to the attention of the lender in some way, however, they may “call” the loan, which means the borrower would have to refinance the loan and get a new mortgage.
If the borrower gets into serious financial trouble because they took on too many obligations (including the borrowed money from the agent) – and they blame their Realtor – lawsuits could begin flying and sometimes have disastrous consequences.
I listed my house with an agent with the understanding that if one of two friends buys my property, she would be compensated at 3% commission. One of my friends has made an offer. When my agent sent me the estimated pay out from the transaction, she put in her commission as 6%. Her explanation is that the original deal was only good until she listed the house in MLS. Is this ethical? Or legal?
Sounds like…well, it doesn’t sound ethical, does it? Since agents generally list a property in the MLS immediately, it doesn’t sound like a genuine explanation. You should have made sure the listing contract contained this stipulation, but that is looking backward. One explanation is that she found it difficult to tell her manager of her agreement with you, and now that she is stuck, doesn’t know how to fix it.
What is a lease option?
This basically means you are leasing or renting a property with an option to buy it at a future date. The future price of the property should be fixed at the time the lease-option is signed.
Usually there is an up-front payment of some amount to purchase the option. The amount can vary. Sometimes the monthly payment is larger than normal and the excess is used to purchase the option. In some cases, the option money can be applied toward the down payment for the later purchase of the home.
Lease-options are usually done during a slow real estate market. During a hot market, the seller can simply sell the home in the regular manner.
What risks does a lease option hold for the buyer?
Individuals who attempt to buy homes on a lease-option rarely end up buying the home. This often has to do with the reason they try to buy on a lease-option. They usually cannot qualify for a home loan and expect that they will be able to qualify after a period of time. Later, they find they still cannot qualify – whether it is because of poor credit, lack of income (documentable income), or lack of savings to have a large enough down payment.
If this happens, you lose any option money you might have paid up front or as part of your monthly payment.
What benefits does a lease option hold for the buyer?
I’ll give you one recent example:
A couple got involved in a lease-option some time ago, just before the real estate market turned. As a result, by the time the option was about to expire the home was worth much more than the option price. They exercised the option to buy and sold the house in a double-escrow, pocketing a tidy sum. Of course, they could have simply bought the home, but they still could not qualify for the home loan.
It would have been much easier if the lease-option had a clause allowing the couple to “assign” the option to a third party, but most sellers are savvy enough to include a “non-assignable” clause in the lease-option contract.
What benefits does a lease option hold for the seller?
- They often get to sell the house at a higher price than they could sell it in a normal transaction.
- They can sell the house during a slow market.
- By being able to collect a larger monthly payment than they could obtain in a normal lease, the property “cash-flows” and they don’t have to come up with money out of their own pocket each month to make the mortgage payment.
- They get some up-front option money and when the buyer cannot exercise the option, they get to keep it.
I would appreciate knowing how a contract is worded in a “rent with option to buy” situation. Or is there a site I could download such sample forms?
The lease part of the form is pretty straightforward most of the time and is just like any other lease. The option just means that you have an “option” to purchase the home within a specified period of time. It makes sense to specify the option price in the lease/option contract.
If the purchase contract states that the seller is paying for the hazard report and a buyer’s home warranty, who is responsible actually ordering them?
Probably, you’ll both have to agree. But home warranties don’t vary that much in price, so the seller shouldn’t mind if you order it. The seller will probably want to order the hazard report, assuming that you mean checking for radon gas and things like that.
New Construction: If a walk-through inspection reveals a problem, but I choose to go through with closing anyway, can I retain a percentage of the down payment (or mortgage amount) – - not to be paid until the repairs are made?
If you want to go through with closing, you will not be able to hold any of your money back or the lender will not fund the loan. You just have to trust that the builder will make the changes, and they normally do.
What are the terms of the pest inspection? If after a few years you are living in the home, are the sellers responsible if termites are found?
Assuming you had a pest inspection performed when you bought the house, the terms of the guarantee would be with the pest inspection. You will probably find it with your other documents from when you bought the house.
Expecting the seller to be responsible for something a couple of years after the fact is not really sensible. The only way a seller should be liable is if they knew of an infestation, but did not disclose it.
What happens if I need to break the lease?
Consult with your leasing agent to discuss full details and options available to you.
If I lease a villa with a private pool and garden who maintains both?
The tenant has the sole responsibility for private pools, i.e. cleaning, putting of chlorine and adding water .The landlord has the responsibility for the engine and the pump.
Can the landlord increase the rent, next year?
According to the rules and laws of Dubai, the landlord cannot increase the rent for the first two years of the lease. After two years, he is allowed to increase the rent up to 20%.
Is the tenant allowed to alter the structure of the property?
The tenant is not allowed to make changes without permission from the landlord. Always check with your landlord if you are unsure.
What should I be aware of that the house inspector should be doing during the inspection of the house I am interested in buying?
The Inspector should be checking the following things:
- Roof & Water Leaks
I am interested in buying a home which the seller is listed “as is.” Will a bank require a home inspection before approving a loan? Will a bank approve a loan on a home needing repairs?
A bank doesn’t require you to get a home inspection in order to obtain a mortgage. If there are obvious major problems that affect value, the appraiser may note it in the appraisal report. However, their job is not to inspect the home, just to determine value.
Although the bank doesn’t require a home inspection, if your purchase contract mentions a termite report, the lender will require that to be performed and pass before you close.
A termite report lists more than pest infestations. It also mentions obvious structural defects, such as wood rot, etc. These are classified into two groups – category 1 and 2. All items in category 1 must be repaired prior to closing. However, the lender does not stipulate who must pay for those repairs
If you make an offer on a house and the owner comes back with a counter offer and you agree to it can the owner still change his mind and sell to someone else?
A seller is free to withdraw the counter-offer any time prior to your acceptance of it. The communication method for acceptance is usually described in the contract. If your acceptance was communicated to the seller in the method required by the contract (prior to the seller withdrawing the offer), the seller should honor the contract with you and not entertain other offers.
But people don’t always do what they should.
The problem then becomes whether you try to enforce your contract or not, which requires legal advice and expenses. For that, you have to consult an attorney.
Although you could probably technically enforce the contract, you have to reach a decision on whether it makes sense to expend the time and money to do so. Or does it make more sense to realize the seller is unethical and just move on to buy something different?
Can you negotiate when making an offer on a new home?
Making an offer on new construction is not the same as making an offer on a resale. Most of the time, the margin for profit is so small on new construction (per unit) that there is basically little or no negotiating. You can try, of course, because “everything in real estate is negotiable,” but do not expect too much.
Can you negotiate the price of a bank owned home
Everything in real estate is negotiable. However, banks are more sophisticated about pricing than they were years ago. So those “Get a great deal on a foreclosure!” days aren’t what they used to be. Lowball offers generally don’t go very far.
How can I find out how much my house is worth? There are no comparable homes in my area.
This may be a bad sign for you, especially if you think your house is worth more than other houses in your neighborhood. Homes maintain their value better if the neighboring properties are fairly similar.
In your situation, you may actually have to talk to several Realtors, get their opinions, and come up with some sort of consensus. Without knowing why there are no comparable properties in your area it is difficult to give another suggestion. If your lot or home is over-improved for the area, that means the value will most not likely be what you think it is. If your home is much larger, you might not get the same cost per square foot as other homes in the area.
So I would talk to a bunch of Realtors and get their opinions. I would not recommend hiring an appraiser, however, even though a lot of books recommend this. Appraisers are better at “justifying” a price than in determining market value.
Where can I get information about the asking prices of properties that have sold during the last six months? I have found information on the selling prices, and would like to compare them to the asking prices.
The only place I can think of where you can obtain that information is the Multiple Listing Service. For that, you need to be a member, but you could ask an agent to obtain the information for you. I cannot think of any reason why an agent would not be willing to give you that information, so just ask one.
There really is not a concrete value in knowing the asking prices. There are different strategies in developing an asking price, plus a lot of properties start out over-priced to begin with. Comparing properly priced houses to over-priced houses, then lumping them together in some sort of analysis would skew your figures.
I can see how you could intend to use such knowledge for the purposes of negotiation, but with an informed listing agent, it should be a fairly ineffective strategy.
For example, recently I saw a web site where the agent was hawking his ability as a listing agent. He said the average home in his area sold for 93% of asking price, but his average listing sold for 97% of asking price. The implication was that he got more money for his sellers.
The truth is probably just that he priced his homes correctly to begin with.
How do you know whether the price of a home per square foot is reasonable or if you are about to make a bad decision?
Though this seems like an easy question, it is not as simple as it sounds.
Keep in mind that much more goes into the market value of a house than it’s square footage. For example, two houses next door to each other can have the same square footage, but if one has two bathrooms and the other has only one, guess which one will probably be worth more? It will also cost more per square foot.